Monday, September 2, 2019

Semi-palmated Sandpiper in Sligo

I was passing through Sligo this afternoon on my way to Donegal and dropped into Ross's Strand to see the Semi-palmated Sandpiper that Paul Keogh found there yesterday evening.  I located the bird fairly quickly after good directions to the spot from Seamus Feeney. The weather was dull but the bird could easily be picked out close to shore within a flock of Ringed Plovers, Sanderling, Knot, one Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin. This individual appeared bright at times and for a short spell I thought it might have been a Little Stint, but was re-assured by Killian Mullarney that it was a brighter individual of Semi-P than I have seen in the past. A great find by Paul.  Here are the distant limited shots that I got of the bird.
 Semi-palamated Sandpiper John N Murphy
 Curlew Sandpiper with Sanderling and the Semi-palmated Sandpiper on the right John N Murphy
Semi-palmated Sandpiper fling to the left hand side of this flock with Sanderling John N Murphy

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Bonaparte's Gull still in Liscannor Bay

The first record or this rare North American Gull was found in the exact same spot over 20 years ago, a first-winter back on 24th to 29th of January 1999. Since then there have been six other records.  Two years ago an adult coming out of summer plumage was found at Quilty. Then last winter, a winter plumaged bird was found at Loop Head, and now this bird at Clahane, also an adult moulting out of summer plumage. Possibly the same bird or another, who knows. Great bird and always nice to see them close to home.

 Adult Bonaparte's with Black-headed Gull John N Murphy
Adult Bonaparte's Gull at Clahane John N Murphy
Old slide shots of the original first-winter Bonaparte's Gull at Clahane beach John N Murphy

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Risso's Dolphins

During the last week a pod of 8 to10 Risso's Dolphins have been feeding off shore of Skellig Michael Island. I got a few shots of a mother and calf that came close to the south side of the island last Wednesday evening. The mother has lots of what looks like propeller scaring on her dorsal fin and back. Someone suggested it might be attacks from giant squid but I'm not convinced.
Mother Risso's Dolphin John N Murphy
 Calf and mother Risso's Dolphins John N Murphy
 Calf Risso's Dolphin John N Murphy
Risso's Dolphins John N Murphy


Puffin Season

Seabirds seem to have had a good breeding season this year with young birds departing the nest early than in previous years.  I was back on the Skellig Michael Island during the week and the Puffins have done well with hundreds of young birds out and about departing the nest burrows consistently all week long.

Adult Puffin will a bill full of Sand Eels and sprat John N Murphy
 Puffins playing with a flower stem John N Murphy
Puffins bill tapping John N Murphy
 Juvenile Puffin with adult John N Murphy
  Young Puffin emerging from burrow John N Murphy
 A young Puffin with grass ticks over its eyes John N Murphy
 Puffin in flight and birds at sea John N Murphy

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Icelandic Nature

Just back after another working week in north west Iceland, a little south of Isajfordur, where I got the chance on this trip to snap off a few shots of local and common breeding birds. It is always a delight to see birds in breeding plumage, on the breeding grounds, as compared to migrating through Ireland or stopping here for the winter.

 Harlequin Ducks or river ducks as they are known in Iceland John N Murphy
Female Teal close to her nest site
 A male Black-tailed Godwit in breeding plumage John N Murphy
 A colour ringed Oystercatcher near Arngerdareyri John N Murphy
 Glaucous Gulls at Budardalur John N Murphy
 Young Seal moulting John N Murphy
 Arctic Tern, one of the longest migrating species on the planet John N Murphy
 Purple Sandpiper John N Murphy
 Redshank holding territory on a post  John N Murphy
 Icelandic Redwing John N Murphy
 Adult breeding dark phased Arctic Skua John N Murphy
 Whimbrel on display mounds John N Murphy
 Ringed Plover male John N Murphy
 A male Rock Ptarmagin John N Murphy
 Golden Plover John N Murphy
 Eider Ducks John N Murphy